VII Capital Funds - Marketing list


Email marketing remains one of the most effective means of engaging potential clients and retaining current customers. 

In a word: Trust. Subscription-based emails are one of the top-three most trusted forms of digital advertising, along with branded websites and online consumer reviews, according to Nielsen’s Global Survey of Trust in Advertising.

The public trusts the information in emails they’ve signed up for more than they trust paid search engine ads, online video ads, social media ads, online banner ads, mobile display ads or text ads delivered via mobile phones, according to Nielsen.

What this tells us is that, by building a subscriber-based email marketing campaign, your business is engaging with an audience that is likely to believe and value your message. 

From a marketing perspective, you can’t put a price tag on consumer trust. It’s your most valuable asset in your efforts to retain customers and grow sales.

As you begin using email marketing to promote your business, your first concern will be generating a list of email addresses from subscribers who have opted-in to receive your messages. 

“Opt-in” means you have received clear permission to email the people on your list. “Permission is not only common courtesy, but required by anti-spam laws around the world,” advises email marketing firm Mail Chimp.

So how do you build your opt-in email marketing list?

Provide opportunities for customers to sign up to receive emails from your business. 

There are several tactics you might use:

Include email opt-in forms in strategic locations on your website.

Offer small percentage-off discounts on your products and services via social media to prompt customers to subscribe to your email newsletter.

Invite brick-and-mortar customers to join your email list for special updates on in-store events, upcoming promotions, and news about your products and services.

As you build your subscriber base, it’s important that you are informed on the best practices for email marketing. Before taking a closer look at how you might use your subscriber list, let’s cover the ground rules of email marketing.

Be upfront with people signing up for your email circulation list. 

Tell them you will be emailing them and let them know how often and what they might see from you. 

You’re more likely to keep them on your list if you are honest.

Your dedication to disclosure will help you maintain customer trust and prevent you from violating commercial email regulations.

As a commercial enterprise, there are federal regulations governing how your small business may advertise directly to customers and potential clients through email. 

The number-one thing to keep track of is CAN-SPAM regulations.

The U.S. has rules in place to protect consumers. 

These regulations should be followed to avoid any penalties.

The key principle is this: Always be sure you have permission to email someone. That goes for business-to-business emails as well as consumer emails.

Each violation of the CAN-SPAM Act is subject to penalties up to $16,000. 

The Federal Trade Commission provides this rundown of the main points of compliance for the emails you’ll be sending:

Don’t use misleading header information: Your correct domain name and email address should be used to identify yourself and/or your business when you send a message.

Use an accurate subject line: Be clear about the content of your email in the subject line. Being deceptive will damage your business’ credibility and put you at risk for non-compliance fines.

Disclose that the email is an ad: There are many gray areas in determining what counts as an advertising email for federal compliance purposes. Download a copy of the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act Compliance Guide for Business for reference.

Include your business address: Under the CAN-SPAM Act, email marketing messages must contain your current postal address.

Allow users a simple method of opting out: Don’t make your email recipients work for this. 

Again, causing frustration among potential customers is a fast way to damage your brand—and put you at risk for non-compliance. Honor these requests promptly.

Your business is legally responsible for complying with these regulations, even if you contract with a third-party digital communications firm to manage your email marketing. 

If you decide to outsource your email campaigns, be sure you’re hiring a reputable firm. Subscribe to your business’ list yourself to make sure your emails meet these basic standards.

As an email user, you already have a sense of what might offend an email list subscriber. 

Follow your instincts as you develop your strategies and build your subscriber list. 

Be clear and direct with customers before adding them to your list. 

Tell them they will be receiving occasional emails from you or your business.

If you intend to send emails with greater frequency, communicate that to those who are opting-in. 

This ensures they know what to expect and will lead to a more engaged audience.

In the interest of long-term engagement, organizations routinely target their emails to select groups within their overall subscriber database. 

Consider whether your customer base is large and diverse enough to warrant more than one email list for sharing information about your small business.

Segmenting your list is a good idea when applicable. 

If there is a way to drill down and communicate with only the subscribers who will be interested, you’ll see better results. 

For example, if you sell men’s and women’s clothing and you have an upcoming sale on women’s sweaters, it would be more efficient to email just the women on your list. 

You’ll see a better performance and you’re less likely to bother subscribers who aren’t interested.

Reflect on your own experience as a consumer and an email user. 

How many times have you opted-in to a business’ emails, only to unsubscribe when the emails were too frequent or irrelevant to your interests? 

Email marketing firm Constant Contact offers in-depth tips for email frequency. 

If you engage your email subscribers as you like to be engaged, you’ll be off to a great start.

VII Capital Funds has the Pros to help you so call or email today…